Book Review- The Keeper of Lost Things

Thursday, 25 May 2017
Title: The Keeper of Lost Things
Author: Ruth Hogan
Published: 21st February 2017
Pages: 288
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary

Rating: 5/5

A charming, clever, and quietly moving debut novel of of endless possibilities and joyful discoveries that explores the promises we make and break, losing and finding ourselves, the objects that hold magic and meaning for our lives, and the surprising connections that bind us.
Lime green plastic flower-shaped hair bobbles—Found, on the playing field, Derrywood Park, 2nd September.
Bone china cup and saucer-Found, on a bench in Riveria Public Gardens, 31st October.
Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancée, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost objects—the things others have dropped, misplaced, or accidentally left behind—and writing stories about them. Now, in the twilight of his life, Anthony worries that he has not fully discharged his duty to reconcile all the lost things with their owners. As the end nears, he bequeaths his secret life’s mission to his unsuspecting assistant, Laura, leaving her his house and and all its lost treasures, including an irritable ghost.
Recovering from a bad divorce, Laura, in some ways, is one of Anthony’s lost things. But when the lonely woman moves into his mansion, her life begins to change. She finds a new friend in the neighbor’s quirky daughter, Sunshine, and a welcome distraction in Freddy, the rugged gardener. As the dark cloud engulfing her lifts, Laura, accompanied by her new companions, sets out to realize Anthony’s last wish: reuniting his cherished lost objects with their owners.
Long ago, Eunice found a trinket on the London pavement and kept it through the years. Now, with her own end drawing near, she has lost something precious—a tragic twist of fate that forces her to break a promise she once made.
As the Keeper of Lost Objects, Laura holds the key to Anthony and Eunice’s redemption. But can she unlock the past and make the connections that will lay their spirits to rest?
Full of character, wit, and wisdom, The Keeper of Lost Things is a heartwarming tale that will enchant fans of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, Garden Spells, Mrs. Queen Takes the Train, and The Silver Linings Playbook. -Goodreads

I received a copy of this novel from Net Galley in return for an honest review.
I loved this novel! It was the perfect light read after Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner which was a dark subject and quite a dark novel. The Keeper of Lost Things is the complete antithesis of that, it's light, funny and whimsical, and has a warm fuzzy feeling throughout which I really enjoyed!
This is a beautiful story, with great storytelling from Hogan, and it was a genuine pleasure to read.
The basis of the story is a collection of lost objects that have been gathered over the years by an elderly gentleman called Anthony Peardew. Since his fiancee died, and he lost an object given to him by her, he has collected other lost objects. In his will, he leaves his assistant Laura his house, all the lost objects, and a task: to return the lost objects to their rightful owners. Laura doesn't have to complete this task alone though, she has help from Freddy the gardener, and her new friend Sunshine. Alongside this narrative we get passages about certain lost objects, about their owners and how they were lost in the first place; whether purposefully left or accidentally misplaced. We also follow Eunice, who is an assistant to a publisher. She is an integral part of the story, although this only becomes clear towards the end of the novel. 
The stories/narratives that are inserted into the main narrative make this novel a quirky read, but I enjoyed this, it was a breath of fresh air in terms of narratives, and was created so skilfully by Hogan. She manages to link all the threads of the stories and narratives together so beautifully, it was lovely to read the completed novel and see how everything was woven around the central thread of the lost objects.
I especially enjoyed the chapters featuring Laura, Freddy and Sunshine. They were such a cosy three-some to read about, their family dynamic was very warm and comforting, I wouldn't mind reading more about them!! 
All the characters are well developed in the novel, they are definitely an eclectic mix of people (and dogs!!) but all were wonderfully created and all had so many dimensions to them. Hogan has done a great job of writing quite a large group of characters, and managing to flesh them all out equally well. 
Another aspect of this novel that I enjoyed was the touches of magic and ghost-like instances. This was a complete surprise to me, I had not read of this element in any of the summaries or reviews I had read, but it actually fitted into the novel really well. It was well handled by the author, and it developed the narrative, but it never crossed into the ridiculous.
Overall I really loved this novel, I gave it 5/5 stars and it's definitely one of my favourite reads of the year. I enjoyed the author's writing style and I look forward to reading more of her work when it is available!

Happy reading!

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